Anthony Mundine has once again called time on his celebrated and controversial sporting career following a first-round knockout loss to Michael Zerafa.
- Mundine said his career was “definitely” over after the fight
- Zerafa claimed the WBO Ocean middleweight title with the win
- He challenged fellow Australian Tim Tszyu after the bout ended
Aiming for a showdown with rising boxing star Tim Tszyu, Zerafa sent Mundine to the canvas with a series of heavy blows to claim the WBO Oceania middleweight title in Bendigo on Saturday night.
Now 45 years old, Mundine said conceded his sporting career was “definitely, definitely” over after the fight.
“Win, lose or draw, even if I won, I still would have hung them up,” he said.
“God’s given me great talent, both in rugby league and boxing. I’m not the fighter I was five years ago, a year ago or 10 years ago.
“But I’ve achieved a lot in my time.”
Concerned for his health, boxing greats including Jeff Fenech had urged Mundine not to fight Zerafa.
Mundine copped two brutal blows to his head in the bout.
“Thank God I’m healthy,” Mundine said after the bout.
“But, unfortunately, I got caught in the first round. It happens in boxing.
“Hopefully Michael can go on and be a success and reach all his dreams.
“He’s wanted to fight me when he was 15. Lucky he got me when I was 45, not 35.”
Mundine’s trainer-father Tony, a four-division Australian champion and world middleweight challenger, also privately feared for Mundine’s future wellbeing.
Zerafa, though, was over the moon to finally get a shot at his boyhood idol, then live out his dream by winning.
“Anthony, nothing but love and respect, brother,” Zerafa said.
“You’re the person to put this sport on the map, brother: the best ever to lace up in Australian boxing.”
After the bout, Zerafa again called out fellow Australian Tszyu.
After dismissing Zerafa’s advances last December following his own first-round knockout win over New Zealander Bowyn Morgan, Tszyu will take on Irishman Dennis Hogan in a world super welterweight title eliminator on March 31 in Newcastle.
AAP / ABC